Teens4Refugees Club Coming Back Strong After COVID

Hayden LaRocque Green, Features Editor

After being hindered from COVID-19, the Teens4Refugees club is back in business.

The Teens4Refugees club is a student-led club that is dedicated to help the less fortunate and refugees locally and around the world. To do this, they lead fundraisers and activities year round. 

Mr. Klein has been the club advisor since it was founded 5 years ago by Emily Peterson. He has seen the club have consistent engagement, but said, “Last year was a problem, of course, and so that slowed down their ability to grow and do many programs. But it seems like this year things are picking up again, and the interest is really there.” 

Teens4Refugees has had an established presence tutoring child refugees every Saturday at the “Fun Club” synagogue in Westfield. They helped refugees ages 1-14, and this was the primary activity of the club. Because of COVID, the Fun Club shut down last year, and still has not started back up. To make up for this loss in service, the club has come up with new, creative ways to still make a difference. 

“In the month of October, we ran a Halloween drive where we collected old and new costumes for the less fortunate. Even just this Tuesday (11/16), we made over 80 sandwiches for homeless people,” said Tanvi Silvester, an NPHS junior and co-President of the club. 

For the rest of the year, Teens4Refugees club has many activities planned. Tanvi said, “we are helping a specific refugee family in Livingston with items they need, like diapers and dry foods. In the next months, we hope to find another refugee family that needs help, and make care boxes for homeless people in New York and other cities near us.” 

All of these activities have created much interest for the club, and they received about 66 new members this year. It is Anna Oliva’s first year in the club as a junior, and she said, “I joined the club because it gives many ways to help people. Also, it’s a really easy way to get service hours.” 

As an advisor, Mr. Klein said, “My favorite part of the club is that the kids take such an active role. The beauty of the club is that the students are so engaged and good at leading that I can just sit back and let them do what they need to do.”

The Presidents of the club are Kate Ure, a senior, Tanvi Silvester, and junior Hayden LaRocque Green. The club meets about once or twice a month in room 525, whenever they have a new fundraiser. 

Students are still encouraged to join the club. Teens4Refugees continues to be a great service club, full of students who are interested in doing good. 

Students interested in joining the club can email Kate Ure: [email protected]